Every summer the Fermilab users converge on the mother ship for their annual meeting, a community briefing on the status of the full program of particle physics supported by the laboratory. The 2015 edition begins tomorrow, with an action-packed schedule put together by the hard-working Fermilab Users Executive Committee.
As has become tradition, the Users Meeting is preceded by two other special events. One is the Tuesday evening Festa Italiana, a most welcome contribution from the Italian scientist community. The other preamble is the New Perspectives conference, organized by the Fermilab Student and Postdoc Association to give students and postdocs an opportunity to present their work to an audience of their peers. Peeking into their meeting this afternoon, I felt a wave of nostalgia for a New Perspectives conference that I attended in a previous millennium. As recorded in the papyrus scrolls of the July 23, 1999, edition of FermiNews, I addressed an assembly of eager junior scientists (many of whom are now leaders of major experiments) with the latest in cutting-edge theoretical insight to guide their budding careers. “Something is out there,” I said. “Go find it.”
The mood for this week should be very upbeat considering all of the recent science accomplishments and forward motion on new initiatives of the Fermilab program. NOvA, MINERvA and MINOS+ are all running, MicroBooNE is starting up, and our neutrino user community is expanding rapidly with DUNE, ICARUS and SBND. We are all excited by the discovery prospects for the new LHC run, our muon experiments Muon g-2 and Mu2e, and our cosmic portfolio exploring dark energy and dark matter.
An objective summary of how we are doing as a laboratory can be found in the closeout summary of the recent DOE Institutional Review. The outside review panel reported that Fermilab is aligned very well to P5 priorities and following P5 recommendations. They said that there is palpable excitement for the recent positive developments in securing international support for the long-baseline neutrino program and that the laboratory is much more focused than in previous years. Fermilab, they noted, has long been the focal point for high-energy physics in the United States, and the lab should strive to maintain this role.
Sounds good to me. With a strong user community, we can do it.